The 2013 IMG Cup - Boy’s Invitational featured 76 teams from 10 states and 10 countries to campus, the deepest field in the event’s four year history. This year, IMG Academy’s U19 and U17 teams went the distance, each going undefeated and bringing home titles in the prestigious event. The U17s annexed the title in the U17-Blue division after taking down the Houston Dynamo (Houston, Texas) earlier today, 1-0, with forward Jose Robertson finding the back of the net. They were joined in celebration by the U19 squad who won the U18/19 men’s division after a hard fought battle against Davie United (Davie, Fla.), winning 1-0 on a solo shot from midfielder Patricio Arana.
“They played four games, won them all and scored 12 goals with none against, it was a great team effort this weekend,” coach Marcelo Carrera. “The two goalkeepers, Jackson Dick and Sam Foster, played extremely well , and defensively they put forth a very good effort all weekend.”
The U17s were more than good through four games, they were dominant; recording four straight clean sheets as they went 4-0-0 by a combined margin of 12 goals to none.
“Our team unity was everything - our coach worked with us on this and we worked hard on it,” said midfielder Carlo Araujo of Mexico City. “We get a two week break [for the holidays] and we’re going to come back full strength and go for the State Cup and win it for IMG Academy.”
Goalkeeper Jackson Dick added, “It’s more than just shutouts, it’s not a one-man show, it’s a team effort. We came in here with more intensity because this tournament is in our home, and we felt like it was our job to keep bring home the cup.”
The U19s (picture above) were also strong throughout the weekend, winning their games by a combined margin of 5-1, to go undefeated at 4-0-0 through the event.
“You got to give all the credit to the boys, because we started in September and we worked really hard and our goal was to be where we’re at today,” remarked U19 coach Scott Bowers after defeating Davie. “They believed in themselves, they worked hard and most importantly, they worked hard for each other.”
Senior midfielder Guilherme Siqueira of Sao Paulo, Brazil was exhausted, but exuberant after the big win, saying: “It was really hard with four games in almost 48 hours, but we got through it, we fought hard, we were all hurting and aching, but it’s all worth it to win like we did - but nothing is better than that final whistle, that was the highlight, knowing we had won.”
The IMG Academy Soccer program will return to action in 2014 following the holiday break. However, when they arrive they will have the opportunity to experience Major League Soccer (MLS) first-hand. It was announced earlier this week that MLS selected IMG Academy as its Eastern hub for the 2014 preseason. MLS teams including the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, New England Revolution and Toronto FC are expected to train and compete in a series of friendlies also featuring international clubs beginning in late January and continuing through the end of February.